I love driving in the darkness. Call me crazy, but I love driving in the rain, too. Early morning rain and lightning poured from the thick, obsidian clouds that blocked the sunrise and blanketed the sky. Somehow the blackness was refreshing instead of oppressive.
I drove OKC early this morning for Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training. This is my final training hurdle before I can apply to be a full-fledged disaster relief chaplain, called upon to drive into areas that everyone else is trying to drive away from. Working elbow to elbow with first responders, ministering to them while attempting to keep them anchored to some sense of normalcy.
I’ve been studying this stuff a lot. Disaster, tragedies, grief, injustice, and death as well as the way we handle and cope with it. I suppose it’s a calling. One of the most profound statements I’ve heard is from Joey Bayly, who advised, “don’t forget in the darkness what you learned in the light.” The bad times don’t negate the good ones. But it’s important to find an anchor during the times of light. If there is no meaning in your happiness, it will be impossible to find meaning in your pain. If you have no safe harbor when the seas are calm, you’ll never find one when the storm comes.
I realize I’m not qualified to tell anyone what to do. But I’ve walked a lot of miles and I’ve seen a lot of life. Births, deaths, and everything in between. Noble sacrifices and tragic injustice. Lives well-lived and those taken too soon. Through it all, I have seen only one rock that is strong enough for any situation, and that’s Jesus Christ. You may think me deluded or small-minded, but frankly, you’re wrong. I don’t stumble into decisions and I tend to leave no stone unturned. I became a Christian at 32 and have spent most of my time since then examining and testing it from every possible angle.
There is nothing in this crazy world that will immunize any of us from the slings and arrows of life. But there is one thing that provides an anchor in the storms, a light in the darkness, and hope when all hope seems lost. Do you know Him?